Intermec SG20 Review

Product: SG20
Manufacturer: Intermec
Type: 2D Area Imager
Capture Method: 2D Area Imager
Support: 5 Year warranty through Intermec;
Lifetime support through

The Intermec SG20 barcode scanner offers 2D area imaging for a variety of retail and healthcare applications. It features a fast scan engine and a variety of unique configuration options.

Typical uses and environments:

The unique design and aggressive scan engine make the SG20 a smart choice for medium to high volume retail scanning, office inventory management, healthcare admitting, or bedside barcode scanning.

Standard Features & Advantages:

Standard SG20 models ship with interface cable standard, as well as a quick start guide. For advanced configuration, a software utility is available for download. An adjustable stand is available, allowing the SG20 to act both as a handheld and presentation scanner.

When scanning, the SG20 uses a white light to illuminate the barcode, and then a red laser pattern to act as the bounding box and aiming reticle.

Unique Advantages:

The LED on the hood of the SG20 can be custom configured to a variety of colors, allowing it to match your business’s color scheme. Changing the color is as simple as using the EasySet configuration software available on our site.

For healthcare applications, a model of the SG20 is available built with special plastics. These scanners can be wiped down with cleaning agents without turning the plastics weak or brittle. This extends the SG20’s usefulness into healthcare applications, such as bedside scanning, specimen management, and pharmacy scanning.

The imager in the SG20 has been tuned to read barcodes from LCD screens as well. This is a great addition for businesses wanting to go paperless and issue mobile coupons, loyalty programs, or tickets.


The SG20 is unable to parse driver’s license data, making it less than ideal for data entry applications such as credit card applications, customer loyalty signup, or healthcare admitting.

Though the SG20 can read barcodes on LCD screens, glossy screens can prove troublesome for quick reads. While it will eventually get a successful scan, it does take a bit longer than when scanning a paper barcode.

Performance Testing:

In testing the Intermec SG20, we ran it through a series of tasks designed to determine optimal scan range, barcode density, and barcode width. We tested SG20THP-USB001, the standard black model with included USB interface cable. Our testing determined it to perform excellently for its class.

Intermec advertises a 1.5” to 12” scan range for standard retail barcodes. In testing, we were able to get successful scans a bit beyond that range, ensuring easier scanning within the advertised range. The optimal scan range varies based on symbology and barcode density, but is easy enough to figure out quickly and get back to scanning. In terms of dirty and damaged barcode, our test model performed admirably, reading almost every nasty barcode we have in the office.

Scanning in direct sunlight is no problem for the SG20. Our model successfully read barcodes in every lighting environment in our test, showing the power of the 2D scan engine.

Configuring the scanner is remarkably easy. Intermec’s EasySet software gives you access to a wide variety of configuration parameters, and the SG20 is powerful enough to read the barcodes from an LCD screen with no zooming whatsoever. Parameters are sorted by function, making it easy to navigate to the feature you want to enable/disable or modify.

A breakdown of the Intermec SG20's capabilities is listed in table and graph form below.

Performance Chart

1D Results

Smallest Density Barcode Scanned 4.9mil Good
Largest Barcode Scanned 133.35mm Good
Shortest Barcode Scanned 38 mm Good
Range Ideal Conditions (Standard 100% UPC-A) 1 inch to 12 inches Great
Multiple Barcodes in close proximity Dependent on distribution of barcodes and proficiency with aiming Average
Scan through plastic layers 4 Layers Good
Multicolored Barcodes Successfully Scanned Blue, Red, Grey, B & W Inverse Good
Multicolored Barcodes Not Scanned Yellow, Black on Dark Grey Good
Simulated Sunlight Test Scans in direct sunlight, spotlight near contact with barcode, all lighting conditions Excellent


The Intermec SG20 is a fantastic 2D scanner for its price. The advanced scanning and ease of configuration will keep operations running smoothly, and the unique design is comfortable for full work-shift scanning sessions. If you need driver’s license parsing, however, you may want to look for a different scanner.

To purchase this product, go to the Intermec SG20 listing

For Additional Reviews, visit our Product Reviews page.

To see our complete line of barcode scanners, visit our Barcode Scanners section.

Testing and evaluation results for the Intermec SG20 - your single source for barcode scanners, POS software and POS equipment.

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